Financial Goals Update: January

We have gotten 2010 off to a good start! In January we made progress towards accomplishing our 2010 Financial Goals!

Here’s what we accomplished in January:

1. Save $3,000 for new to  us vehicle. We have saved $151.50 towards this goal in January! We still have $2,848.50 left to go to reach the goal which is going to be a challenge but we’re doing good so far!

2. Add on a guest room in the basement without any debt. We have saved $450 towards this goal, thanks in part to saving our Christmas money and excess grocery money thanks to my pantry challenge! We haven’t started construction yet but hope to very soon!

3. Establish a college fund for Paxton. We have not established an official college savings account or even a savings account yet. We still aren’t sure what we are going to do as far as saving for college.

4. Make an extra principal payment each month. Our goal is paying $215 a month so we can pay the mortgage off in 15 years! This month we made $216. 55 in extra principal payments…$1.55 over our goal! Yay!

11 Replies to “Financial Goals Update: January”

  1. Perhaps, instead of trying to do all these large goals at once set yourselves short term, medium term and long range goals. For instance if you need the car right away that could be your short term goal and all the savings go towards that until you've reached that goal. For instance instead of $450 towards the basement you take all but $50 of that and put it towards the car. When you've saved enough for the car then take all and put it towards the basement project (or vice versa, whichever is the neediest project right now.) There's a truly excellent book (it's out of print but still available) called "It Only Hurts Between Paydays" by Amy Ross Mumford (copyright 1975). It explains these principles in detail. It's a great financial resource. I don't know what I would have done as a young married without the wisdome in the book. It was a great teacher about common sense and financial things.

    1. Judy,

      These sort of are our “short term” goals (with long term being purchase new car with cash in 3-5 years, pay off home mortgage in 15!)

      I do completely understand your financial philosophy and it makes complete sense to me! However the basement project is definitely a short term goal (we’d love to have it completed within 2-3 months) so we are putting all extra cash towards that! The new vehicle is not a need, however we decided to set a lofty goal (for us) of $3,000 because we’ve found that lofty goals make us more motivated!

      I will look into “It Only Hurts Between Paydays!” It seems like it would be a wonderful & informative read!!

      Thank you so much for your input!!

    1. Having it written down is a must for me to stay motivated! Plus it feels really great at the end of the year to see what we’ve accomplished!!

  2. Rachel,
    At the end of the month, do you have a $0 balance? I was just wondering.
    Dave Ramsey says you should, but I’m not sure how comfortable I feel about having $0.

    This month, we have set a goal to pay off one of our 3 debts which is the property we bought next door to our house. The amount to be paid off this month? $4201! YIKES! It sounds like alot of money. It IS alot of money. It is about a month and a half of our take home income.

    But we are expecting a tax return of $2000 any day now to put toward this debt, and the rest is from us scrimping and saving. Thus far, we are kind of doing the pantry challenge and coming up with new meals with items we have around the house. And we’ve been trying to stay in more and do less shopping in general. We’ll see if we can hit our goal! By paying off this debt, it will give our “debt snowball” an extra $375/month to go toward the next debt (hubby’s vehicle.)

    Great job on meeting your goals for January! You are doing great!!!

    1. Meg,

      Our budget accounts for every single dollar that my husband brings in so in essence we should end the month with $0 in the checking account. We typically get down below $100. (As of today, we have right at $95 in our checking account which is right on track since he gets paid on the 15th…it is a little scary!) Of course we have our emergency fund & our savings (which are separate) but the checking account is what we pay our bills out of!

      Wow paying off $4201 is awesome!! I’m sure with a little creativity ya’ll will be able to do it!! And then putting $375 towards your snowball will get the truck debt down fast!! Yay!! Keep me updated with what’s going on!! 🙂

      1. We did it!!!! Today (at 7:15 this morning), I paid the house next door off!!!! I cant tell you how exciting that is for me. We will be living tight this week (only $145 left over, and a bill for $90 due), but it will help out in the coming months having that extra $375 to put toward other debts and home-improvements!

        That was our highest interest rate debt at 7.9%! Now, onto hubby’s vehicle. That is at 3.9% interest. We owe $8,000.

        Rachel, I dont think you realize how much you help others by your blog. Your recipes (that are simple, homemade, and frugal) have helped me make some great dinners without us having to go to the store or go out to eat! You and your blog are such a blessing to me!


        1. Congratulations!! I know you are breathing a huge sigh of relief today!! (And I know you can manage a week of tightness…it is completely worth it!!)

          Now ya’ll will get that truck paid off in no time & will soon be DEBT FREE…Yay!!

          And thank you for the letting me know that you have been blessed by my blog…I love blogging & it makes it that much better when I hear that readers are benefitting!! 🙂

  3. Hi Rachel:

    I just recently found your site and love it! I am in the middle of downsizing and sorting out the extra in my life so your blog was right up my alley!

    I have never posted on a site before, but reading your Financial Goals for January prompted me to give you some sideline cheering.

    We just paid our house off last year and what a joy it is to not write that check each month. I secretly played a game of how much money I could save each month out of the grocery budget. What ever was in the envelope at the end of the month I wrote a separate check and applied it to the principal only. I was shocked how much I could squeeze out of that fund when it was a game and I was seeing that debit going away.

    More fun was finally springing it on my husband how close we were to the end! We were able to pull some out of savings and finished it off.

    One other trick I used was if my family ask me what we wanted for a holiday or birthday gift I would ask them for a gift card from a restaurant instead of “things”. To me that was a supplement to my groceries and we got to eat out once in a while. My motto is “Free Food Always Taste Better” haha

    Keep up the great work. It is amazing how blessings come your way when you need them most.


    1. Julie,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story with me!! It is very encouraging! I know all the frugality will one day pay off when we can make the very last house payment….can’t wait!! Congrats to you and your husband on reaching that goal!!

      I hope your downsizing is going well! Today I’m actually doing some thorough house cleaning and decluttering as I go…less is best!!

      And I completely agree with your statement that blessings come your way when you need them most! We have been so blessed whether it be money, maternity clothes or things for baby at what seems like just the perfect time!

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